Monday, December 10, 2012

Finding Winter's Beauty #2

As previously stated, winter is not my favorite season.  Over my 20+ years of living in Minnesota I have made several attempts to get over that.  There was the"Operation Make Friends With Winter" campaign of 1999.  It had it's fantastic moments, but was deemed unsuccessful.  There have also been winter's that I have made no effort to make peace with piles of snow and frigid temps.  This year I plan to focus on the beauty instead of trying to force myself to actually enjoy winter activities.
Yesterday were were treated to a big dose of winter's beauty!

Over a foot of winter's beauty fell all day long.

And nothing is more beautiful to me than a couple of thrilled and satisfied girls.  They even talked me into a trip down the hill.  I'm not sure who was more entertained, me or the passerby who stopped to see the crazy lady shrieking all the way down the hill.

A few weeks before the snow fell I was able to finish this custom quilt with a variety of Monaluna fabric including a bit of busy city.  I'm so glad that I got it done before winter descended.  As we all snuggled up under our quilts after sledding yesterday, I stopped to think about the quilts that I have made that were hopefully being put to good use around town on a beautiful snowy day.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

blogs are slogs

Every once in a while I receive newspaper clippings from my Dad that address a topic that he thinks I might be interested in (or that he thinks I should be interested in).   I love getting newspaper articles from my Dad!  
I got this one earlier this year and honestly didn't read it in it's entirety until recently.  The gist of the article is that large companies have started giving up on blogs because they just aren't working.  To that I say Hooray!!  I have never really enjoyed the "corporate blog".  You can usually tell that there is a staff person whose job it is to make the corporation seem more "human".  Over the years I have slowly weeded those blogs out of my blog reader.

I am happy to have a blog where nine real humans commented on my last post.  That may not seem like much, but it is fantastic to me.  I've never been one for big parties.  I really prefer the more intimate gatherings where people can actually get to know each other.  I truly enjoyed hearing the winter plans of those nine people.  Here's to all ten of us finding the beauty of this coming winter!  And congrats to lucky number seven (Chris C.) for winning the Constellations Charm Pack!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Finding Winter's Beauty: Part #1 of Hopefully Many

While walking around my neighborhood lake this morning, I spotted this sight.  My First thought was "F@#$%*#  Ice!!!"  My next thought was "it's kinda pretty".  I have always had a love-hate relationship with winter.  I love the beauty.  I hate the cold.

I plan to spend most of my time this winter in my cozy warm studio sewing up things to help keep us all warm and cozy.  But, I will set aside some time this year to focus on the beauty of winter and I hope to share it here.  Photography has always been an interest of mine and I am planning on taking a class or two this winter to finally learn how to use all of my fancy camera's "bells and whistles".

If all else fails and I can't find anything beautiful about winter to take photos of, I can just hang a quilt in front of the snow and snap a few of that instead...

...and thanks to the kind folks at Andover Fabrics I will have some fun fabrics to play with.   I came home yesterday to a box of goodies that included 2 lovely charm packs of Lizzy House's new collection called Constellations (and yes, it does include a couple of the new pearl bracelet colors).
I am being greedy and keeping one for myself, but am giving away the other one.  Just comment on this post with something you are looking forward to this winter (sewing related or not) for your chance to win.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Another guest post today...

I did a guest post for my friends Wendy and Nick on their handwriting blog Brown Ink.  

A little bit about my LOVE of lists!  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Guest Post: MMQG

I did a little guest post over at the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild blog today about digging into the "good stuff".  It's about fabric but can apply to whatever is "good stuff" to you!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On Wandering

I guess I didn't get the quote exactly right, but you get the idea.  I made this pillow a while ago and it has not found it's owner yet.  

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
-J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Well, that was fun!  

I made up a few blocks for our Bento Box swap with the MQG in Baltimore.

Here's how it works. Make a block...

and cut it into pieces.

I will keep these three and add the nine pieces that I get from the swap to complete a whole quilt.  If you look too-closely you will see that the seams don't all match up perfectly.  I hope those folks in Baltimore don't employ the quilt police!  

Some of my favorite words on the Walker Art Center

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bento Beginnings

I work in a fantastic new space.  I work for myself.  I am my own boss AND my own assistant.  I don't have to answer to anyone!  I am so grateful to be in this position, but one of the few things I miss about my teaching job is being part of a community.  So, one of my goals has been to create my own community. 
 One of the ways I have done that is to be an active member of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild.

We are doing a bento box swap with the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild.  It is an example of why I love being part of a Guild (especially the Modern Quilt Guild).  I would never have been motivated to give this a try, or even known what a bento block was otherwise.  Three cheers for being pushed out of my comfort zone!!!

I am going to attempt three blocks using this tutorial, and we'll see which ones turn out well enough to head to the swap.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If life gives you lemons...

 ...make a skirt.  I have had a "helper" in the studio for the last couple of days.  My Birthday Girl was feeling a little under the weather and didn't make the trip to Grandma's house with her sister.  The trip was a gesture from my Mom in order to help me get caught up on some work.  So... we have been getting some quality time together.  She has been a very good sport and was even really helpful in packing up orders!   But, none the less, I wasn't getting caught up on anything.  Then the walking foot on my machine broke in the middle of trying to finish up a custom quilt that needs to be done for a soon departing college freshman!  After a few curse words, I decided to throw in the towel and have some fun.  After discovering her love of a beautiful corduroy fabric we worked together to make a VERY simple skirt.
I never knew how happy a simple elastic skirt could make a-now-eight-year-old.

 We used some Amy Butler corduroy with a little ribbon accent from Ana Maria Horner.

Then the UPS guy dropped off a box with some pretty Orla Kiely soaps.  Things are looking up and maybe I will get some work done tomorrow.  In the meantime, I have a happy girl and clean hands!  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

10 Years Later

I started quilting in 1999.  At the time the only other quilters I knew were my Mom and a few of her friends.  I had no idea what I was doing, so I did as I was told (except for my "overuse" of solids).  In 2002, I was told to enter a quilt in the MN State Fair.  "It's what quilters do".  So I did it.
 I entered this little wall hanging that I made with broadcloth remnants and some sheer embroidered ribbon. 

As a first time entrant and novice quilter, I didn't expect to win a thing.  I was just along for the ride.

 Imagine my surprise to find it hanging in the display.  I hadn't won a prize or a ribbon, but it was hung up for everyone to see!  

After noticing the absence of  Modern Quilts at last years fair, I decided to enter again this year.  Again, I don't hope to win a prize for my less than perfect quilting skills, but I do have a goal.

I contributed something in a non-traditional style (A.K.A Modern) in hopes of letting the "powers that be" know that WE ARE HERE and we love to quilt too.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Time is a jet plane...

 Summer is flying by like it ALWAYS does!  I'm not sure why every August I am suddenly surprised that summer is more than half over and I haven't gotten to nearly half of the things on my to-do-this-summer list.  
One thing that I didn't plan to do this summer was become addicted to Instagram! It is so fun to look back at the summer so far and realize that although there aren't a lot of checks on my to-do list, I have been spending my time wisely so far!

I've been hanging out with these two lovelies...

Spending some time here...

Spending more time than I wanted to here...

Selling my wares at the farmer's markets...

Packing up these lovelies for the move... 

...and doing not quite enough sewing.

Moving into my new space has given me some much needed new perspective and I have lots of thoughts and ideas about the direction(s) that I should go with my business, my craft and my career.  I am looking forward to whittling all of those ideas down into some manageable goals and having a PixieSpit "reboot" this fall.  In the meantime, I will suck every last bit of fun and sunshine out of the next few weeks as I can. You can follow along with me on Instagram or better yet...get on there yourself if you aren't already!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Settling in... FINALLY!

 My move into the new studio has been a lot longer than I expected.  After starting to move in and then realizing that there were some minor (but messy) fixes to be done, I halted my move in and headed out on a fantastic road trip to visit family in Ohio.  
 We had a great time and even picked up a stow-away cousin.

 Then there was another delay while waiting for the A/C to be installed during the sweltering heat.

I was all ready (and excited!) but then came another road bump.  Jury Duty... and of course I was chosen to be on a trial.  Not quite the short detour that I thought it would be.

But today is my birthday and I got a wonderful gift.  The judge had some personal matters to attend to, so we got the day off!  The first thing that I did after I ate my birthday donut was to sew something.  I whipped up some simple curtains for my daughters bedroom.  It felt so good to SEW for the first time in my new space!!  More of that to come once this trial wraps up...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Follow the Yellow Brick Road...

 I have a floor!  There are still some details to finish up before I move in, but I couldn't resist plopping down in the middle of my new floor and stitching up the binding on my latest quilt.  
 I also couldn't resist hanging some curtains last week.
 How fitting that the pattern that I used for the quilt was Yellow Brick Road, because I feel like I have arrived in OZ! 
Some threads on my studio floor...Now it's official!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Let there be light & a giveaway winner!

 The electrician came by today and we have power!!  
 I agonized over which white to paint and am very happy with how it looks so far.
The flooring will be delivered tomorrow and installed "soon".  After that I can start MOVING IN...

I'm feeling pretty lucky right now, and so should Annik because she had the lucky # 2 comment on my quilt market posts.  I was hoping to post more often about market, but got distracted by trying to decide between  swan wing white and moon rise white...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quilt Market Fun

I have had the pleasure of attending the Spring International Quilt Market for the past three years.  One of my favorite parts of Market is getting to meet the designers.  I have admired many of them for years and was pretty star-struck back in 2010.  Since then I have come to know that most of them are just regular folks... with INCREDIBLE talent!
Joel Dewberry is always so thoughtful.  He takes the time to talk to everyone and even remembered a conversation that we had two years ago.  He had a booth with some great new sewing patterns and dropped a heavy hint that he will announce a new fabric collection later this summer.  I can't wait!
We had some chuckles with  Monaluna (Jennifer Moore) who was at Market debuting two new collections of organic cotton.  Fox Hollow will be out soon and Havana will follow.  She added some SOLIDS! that go with both collections.  I am excited for a good organic solid.

Anna Maria Horner is as fun as she seems.  She didn't hesitate to move under the antlers displayed in her booth in order for me to catch her with horn-head.  She also didn't hesitate to adjust my name tag for me so that it didn't cover her beautiful ribbon that I used to trim the dress I was wearing.   Her new collection of fabrics coming out for FreeSpirit is called Field Study and is full of inspirations from nature.  

Getting to meet and chat with all the creative folks at Market is so inspiring and just plain FUN!  I come home not only excited about new collections of fabric, but also loaded with ideas on how to use them in my sewing.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Bright Future for Solids...

 A growing tend has been the use of solids in quilting.  I used to get a lot of grief  from the more traditional quilters that taught me to quilt back in the 90's for my "over-use" of solids.  I am SO glad that I have the backing of the entire Modern Quilt Movement in my love of solids.  I am also glad that nearly every fabric manufacturer is supporting me in my solid inclination.
 Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics are right on task with a palette to match their gorgeous prints!  I placed my first order with Art Gallery and am excited to stock and sew with their luxurious fabric.
 23 new Kona solids were introduced by Robert Kaufmann, because 243 colors were not enough for us. I scored a charm pack of the new colors and ordered up some new color bundles for the shop.
I was also lucky enough to nab a wonderfully packaged color card from Michael Miller of their Cotton Couture collection.

I love each of these collections for a different reason and am afraid of a future garage full of one bolt of every   one of them.  Leave a comment about your favorite color, line, or use for SOLIDS in yet another chance to win the Bella giveaway!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Simply Beautiful

 Simply Color is the beautiful new collection from V and Co. for Moda.  It is a huge collection (around 40 prints) that combines some fresh basics with vintage inspired prints.
 These pillowcase dresses were made from a fantastic dot border print.
 Check out this hexy quilt!  Pretty sure a pattern will be available for that...
This Iphone photo doesn't do justice to the Bloom quilt pattern that uses the Ombre prints in the collection.  Jelly rolls will be available with just the Ombres needed for the quilt.  An Ombre is essentially a solid fabric that gradually changes shades from selvage to selvage creating light to dark shades of the same color in one piece.  They will be available in 7 colors: Pink, Orange, Green, Aqua, Blue, Purple and of course, Gray!

Here is  Vanessa Christenson in her booth at Quilt Market and yes, she was as sweet and kind as she looks.  I am really looking forward to digging in to this collection, but we will all have to wait until it is released in October.  Unless you were lucky enough to snag some at sample spree. I wasn't brave enough to fight the crowds that gathered for that one!